Aug. 23 - Demonstrators in Kabul protest against the decision of Afghanistan's electoral commission to replace nine MPs. Nick Rowlands reports.
Hundreds of Afghan demonstrators march to the United Nations office in the capital Kabul on Tuesday. They are protesting the decision by the country's Independent Electoral Commission - or IEC - to replace nine MPs elected in last year's contentious poll. They chant, "Death to Manawi, head of the Independent Election Commission!" The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan welcomed the decision to unseat the MPs, even though they had been declared winners by the IEC itself last year. Protesters say if the UN does not take their demonstration seriously they will expand the protest across the country. A former parliamentary candidate says the IEC's decision has undermined legal jurisdiction in Afghanistan. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER PARLIAMENT CANDIDATE, MOHAMMAD DAUD SULTANZOI: "Our purpose of the gathering today is to reiterate our position that the courts in this country are a viable part of the system in the tradition of government. And when the courts are given a task to make a decision on, and then being undermined by other entities that have no legal jurisdiction in this country, this undermines the confidence of the people of this country and the government of this country, and in our international allies who are here to support us." Parliament and Afghan President Hamid Karzai are locked in a dispute over the fraud-mired elections last September. The 249-seat parliament is barely functioning and a complete cabinet has yet to be formed almost a year after the vote. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.